As a small business, I have come to realize that in some ways, you are only as good as your tools. I use an arsenal of tools that help me to run my business as well as create better websites for my clients. Below are just a few of the services that I have come to rely on in my everyday business management. I encourage you to check them out and also let me know if there any any tools that you use everyday.
* Please note that I may earn an affiliate commission from any of the services marked with an asterisk. I only recommend services that I both use in my business and trust.
Having a secure password might be the single most important thing you can do to protect your website, email and data. The standard recommendation is to have a password that includes upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters that is at least 8 characters long.
There are lots of ways to put your website online, but WordPress is the platform that I most recommend to clients and friends who are looking for a platform that is widely supported, user-friendly, and that can grow as their business grows. What more is that WordPress is open-source and free. It is not only the most popular blogging platform but is also an awesome content management system for any type of website from informational to e-commerce.
Namecheap is a no-nonsense, low-cost domain registration provider that I use for all of my websites.
WP Engine provides ultra-secure, premium WordPress hosting. If you are looking for speed, scalability, fully managed WordPress hosting, this is by far the best choice for hosting your WordPress website.
Media Temple provides an easy-to-use hosting environment for both websites and email while having excellent support. This is also a great host for a WordPress website.
HostGator provides low-cost, no-frills hosting environment for all kinds of websites.
For businesses looking to bring their products online, I recommend BigCommerce due to their quick set-up and easy-to-use admin area. Since this is a SasS platform, there is no need to worry about issues of security as it is monitored by BigCommerce for a low monthly subscription fee. This is a robust platform that is easily scalable and can be a great foundation for a store with a larger inventory that requires a lot of customization.
Shopify is another hosted e-commerce store service that has a great selection of well-designed themes that are easy to customize with your branding. If you are looking for an easy-to-use DIY solution for a small shop or you are a business just getting started in e-commerce this is another platform you may want to consider.
Website Visitor Tracking:
This is by far the best tool available to measure the success of your online efforts. I use Google Analytics on every website that I work on, and I review visitor traffic to help my clients make the best decisions for their online marketing activities.
MailChimp is the only email marketing service that I recommend. They are an easy-to-use email marketing management tool that integrates with many online technologies. Plus they are free for up to 12,000 emails a month (email 2000 subscribers up to six times).
I rely on Basecamp to keep my projects on track and organized so I can focus on doing great work.
Cloud File Backup and Sharing:
Dropbox is another service that I recommend. The Free account gives you 2GB of online file storage making it a very affordable cloud back-up solution!
Cloud-based accounting solution that does my bookkeeping for me.
Cloud-based invoicing and billing solution.
Cloud-based contact management tool that is well integrated and easy to use.
Website Design and Development:
I would be happy to discuss your project with you, whether large or small, I specialize in customized website solutions for clients of all types. Send me an email if you would like to learn more about how I can help you.